OUTLOOK — By Mohammed Al Hadhrami — Several years ago, when I was studying at a scientific institute, I remember a lady whose academic standard was the weakest among the colleagues of that batch. When I noticed her continuous complaints about the difficulty of the curricula I asked her: How did you pass the general diploma examinations? She told me that a colleague used to dictate to her the answers via a mobile phone and that she used to hide the earphone in her head cover.
I recalled that lady and linked her behaviour to cheating incidents that occurred at the time when I was a school student. Many are the stories of students procuring high marks by means of cheating and it is regrettable that the majority of students who achieved remarkable success did it by deception. Some students use cheating methods that never occur to anyone’s mind. Understandably, cheating enables the students with mediocre academic standard to outperform the excellent and intelligent ones who exert great efforts studying and preparing themselves for exams.
When I hear of cheating incidents I think about the many teachers who are striving to instill in students good morals and the values of self-dependence and hard work which lead to genuine success.
Every year, when the general diploma examinations start, I say to myself ‘the doors of cheating have opened’. The many cheating stories I heard have caused me to lose trust in the students who get high marks. The songs that glorify academic success and praise outstanding students have become meaningless to me and unable to touch my soul.
As a result of the jaw-dropping stories of cheating recounted by teachers I have become inclined to think that those who haven’t cheated in one exam have cheated in previous occasions.
Cheating in exams has countless damaging effects, not the least of which is that it gives the lazy students the chance to outshine their studious peers and thereby securing college seats for which they are not qualified, which strip the meritorious of deserved opportunities.
Cheating in exams is not a minor misdeed as the cheaters think, it is a treason to the nation and breach to values of the society as the cheaters grow up with the habit of cheating which becomes part of their behaviour.
Later in life they use the same mischievous methods at college they then graduate and get jobs, but it is unlikely that they forget their old habit at the workplace and it is known that the work output benefits the nation as a whole and any shortcoming in it harms the general public and that is the reason why the cheaters commit treason on the entire nation.
The Ministry of Education is striving hard and sparing no effort to stave off the phenomenon of cheating among the students and it behoves all of us to join hands in fighting this phenomenon. I salute every student who study day and night and depend only on his or her skills to achieve academic success. This is the only genuine and commendable success that deserves to be hailed.